OPlay, HTPC and WDTV connected via. HDMI to Panny Plasma 1080p TV.
1080p.mkv material wireless on O!Play wired on WDTV
1080p.iso material wireless on O!Play wired on WDTV
1080p.ts materail wired (direct BluRay rips) on O!Play wired on WDTV
Network: Linksys WRT54G wireless
Media Storage: Windows Home Server (4TB storage)
Wireless Functionality: O!Play only.
O!Play wireless option and .iso and DVD menu support was the reason I bought this unit.
The wireless setup was easy, select the wireless network, enter the WEP key, restart the unit. Done. I know many a people are complaining they cannot get their wireless to function - maybe I got lucky. Again I may have gotten lucky, lots of folks are pissed they can not get this to work. Granted the WRT is the gold standard for ease of use and functionality.
I can stream 1080p.mkv and .iso material over the wireless network without issue. These are conversion with a file size of 9G max. No hiccups, no sync issues, everything looks great over wireless. Note: 98% of my movie collection is DIVX, iso and mkv material. I only kept a few BluRay rips whole for testing. You CANNOT playback 1080p native material over this wireless unit without some studders etc. I tried, its not pretty.
Picture Quality: O!Play, WDTV and HTPC
HTPC wins. Period. Better codecs, better processor, better video card. To be expected. $800.00 DIY HTPC. nvidia 9400 series video processor. e6850 intel dual core chip. 4G ram. Windows 7 Pro. This win is marginal, but even I can see a slight difference in picture clarity. I freeze framed Zombieland with a closeup of Woodys face during the highway intial encounter with Columbus on all 3 devices and swithed the HDMI input to compare. This is where I see the clarity greater on my HTPC. For $800 it should be.
WDTV v. O!Play
I honestly can't tell the difference. I played the same material from 2 network copies at the same time and switched from one HDMI source to the next. mkv, iso and .ts native all looked fantastic! Maybe a videophile of greater caliper than I can see a difference, I cannot. This would not be a deal make or break for me.
Interface:O!Play v. WDTV v. MediaPortal HTPC
MediaPortal wins. Though you wont PNP a MediaPortal installation, you will love it once its up and running.
O!Play seems more polished and with more setup options. New firmware offers a more crisp text fonts and the ability to create short cuts to your favorite network location so you dont have to drill down to say your XVID TV SHOWS folder etc.
WDTV factory firmware - not the mods - is simple, functional but not very impressive. I give O!Play the win here.
Side note. WDTV's network setup and functionality is pretty sad compared to the O!Play.
If I had it to do over again, I would not have bought the WDTV - I actually own 2, one with the network option and the earlier version without. ASUS has a really promising player here and if they keep up with the firmware revisions to address users needs and complaints they may win this one. WDTV better keep their act together or they will lose market share to this device. It says a lot about WDTV that the modders are doing more with this unit to keep it current than WD is. For crap sake WDTV, its 2010, not having on onboard wireless network option is ridiculous.
Its not fair to compare these devices to a dedicated HTPC, but I have one so why not?
On another note, some promising work is being done to allow XBMC run from a thumb drive on the O!Play. If that works out, it's over for WDTV in the tweaker arena.
Hope this helps.